Assessing results of Hurricane Sandy projects funded through the Department of the Interior (DOI) is critical for developing best practices, determining gaps in knowledge, sustaining or enhancing improvements in coastal resilience created by project activity, and communicating the effective use of tax dollars to the American people. To that end, DOI has initiated a resilience assessment process that will establish criteria for determining project success and metrics to quantify changes in resilience resulting from project actions at multiple scales.
|Restoring marsh hydrology at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, part of a $38 million marsh restoration project funded through the Department of the Interior by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. Credit: USFWS|
This report, the first phase of the assessment effort, was developed for DOI by a metrics expert group (MEG) of physical and ecological scientists and socio-economic experts who recommended performance metrics for measuring changes in resilience resulting from the DOI-sponsored projects. The report identifies natural and artificial coastal features most affected by Hurricane Sandy along the Northeast coast -- such as marshes, beaches, estuaries -- and recommended metrics that would indicate resilience change in those features. The list of performance metrics is extensive, given the diversity of coastal features and objectives, so a subset of recommended core metrics is also provided.
The MEG report recommends also establishing operational frameworks of data collection and synthesis that link information across projects for describing regional scale changes in resilience, and across ecological and socio-economic conditions to inform local to regional management decisions.